Florence Eshalomi

Florence Dauta Eshalomi[3] (née Nosegbe; born 18 September 1980)[2] is a British politician serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Vauxhall since 2019. A member of Labour and Co-operative parties, she has been the Member of the London Assembly (AM) for Lambeth and Southwark since 2016.[4] From 2006 to 2018, she was a local councillor, representing the Brixton Hill ward on Lambeth London Borough Council.[5]

Florence Eshalomi

Official portrait of Florence Eshalomi MP crop 2.jpg
Eshalomi in 2019
Member of Parliament
for Vauxhall
Assumed office
12[1]December 2019
Preceded byKate Hoey
Majority19,612 (34.8%)
Member of the London Assembly
for Lambeth and Southwark
Assumed office
8 May 2016
LeaderLen Duvall
Preceded byValerie Shawcross
Majority62,242 (33.1%)
Lambeth Borough Councillor
for Brixton Hill
In office
4 May 2006 – 3 May 2018
Preceded byLydia Serwaa
Succeeded byMaria Kay
Personal details
Born
Florence Dauta Nosegbe

(1980-09-18) 18 September 1980 (age 40)[2]
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour Co-operative
Spouse(s)Matthew
Children2
ResidenceBrixton, London
Alma materMiddlesex University
Utrecht University
ProfessionPolitician

Early lifeEdit

Born Florence Nosegbe,[6] she is a lifelong Brixton resident and the eldest of three girls from a single parent family. Her mother worked as a school teacher until her illness forced her to retire early. She supported her mother, who suffered from sickle cell anaemia and kidney failure, as her carer.

Eshalomi attended local schools in Lambeth including Durand Primary (now Van Gogh) and St Helen's RC Primary school and Bishop Thomas Grant Secondary School. She completed her A-Levels at St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College in Clapham South. She is the first member of her family to go to university, graduating with a BA Hons in Political & International Studies with Law from Middlesex University. Florence benefited from the EU Funded 'Erasmus Student Exchange' and had the opportunity to study at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Eshalomi started her working life as a 16-year-old at Sainsbury's supermarket, Clapham High Street. She has worked in a variety of campaigning and public affairs roles including in local government as a policy officer, as a regional organiser for the Labour Party during the 2005 general election and as the Public Affairs Manager for the UK's leading race equality think tank, the Runnymede Trust.

Political careerEdit

Prior to winning her seat in the Assembly, she worked for the PR agency Four Communications as a public affairs account manager.[7]

Eshalomi served as a local councillor from Brixton Hill on Lambeth London Borough Council. She represented the ward along with future Labour MP Steve Reed.

Eshalomi has previously served as a member of the Progress Strategy Board.[8] In 2016, The Times reported that "one of Momentum's most militant factions" planned to picket an event held to support Eshalomi's candidacy for the London Assembly.[9] MPs including Chuka Umunna, Ben Bradshaw and Stella Creasy strongly criticised the picket, and a spokesperson for Momentum stated that the picket was organised by a separate group and that "Momentum are fully behind Flo's campaign."[10] In the 2015 leadership election Eshalomi supported Liz Kendall to become Labour Party leader.[11]

Eshalomi was elected to the London Assembly on 5 May 2016 with a majority of 62,243 over the Conservative Party candidate Robert Flint.[12] She is lead spokesperson for the London Assembly Labour Group on Transport issues, and current Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee.[13]

As an Assembly Member, Eshalomi has campaigned on issues including gang crime[14] and the closure of Kennington Police Station.[15][16]

Eshalomi was selected as Labour candidate for the Vauxhall parliamentary constituency on 27 October 2019, after Kate Hoey, a long-standing MP of 30 years, had announced she would not stand again as Labour's candidate in the constituency. She won the seat with a slightly reduced but still strong Labour majority of 19,612 votes.[17][18]

Eshalomi made her maiden speech in the House of Commons on 17 January 2020. She said that "I never imagined that almost five years to the day, as I was literally pacing up and down the maternity ward, looking over the river, trying to coerce my daughter to come out, I would now be sat in this Parliament fighting for funding for our hard-working doctors and nurses" in reference to St Thomas' Hospital in her Vauxhall constituency. Eshalomi also prioritised more funding for the NHS and Police and to focus on tackling youth violence and young women facing sexual exploitation.[19]

Eshalomi and her fellow black female MPs have frequently been mistaken for each other since entering parliament, with Eshalomi herself being twice mistaken for black female colleagues in the nine months since her election. Eshalomi said of the misidentifications that "The frequency is worrying and lends itself to a lazy racist view that all black people look the same". Eshalomi was wrongly identified as Taiwo Owatemi by BBC Parliament and a fellow MP ran up to her thinking she was Kate Osamor. During Eshalomi's time on the London Assembly she was mistaken for Kemi Badenoch, then a fellow assembly member. Eshalomi wrote that "All those women I've referenced are individual politicians in their own right...They're women who fought to get elected. So they deserve to be named and not to be confused with other black women. This doesn't happen to some of my white female colleagues, who sometimes have their hair down, sometimes they'll have it back in a ponytail. So why is it, if we as black women change our hair or our appearance, you can't recognise us?".[20]

Personal lifeEdit

Eshalomi is married to Matthew and they have two children, Mia and Malachi, who were both born locally at St Thomas' Hospital.

Eshalomi attends Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Brixton.[21] She is of Nigerian descent.[22]

Electoral historyEdit

2019 general electionEdit

General election 2019: Vauxhall[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Co-op Florence Eshalomi 31,615 56.1  1.2
Liberal Democrats Sarah Lewis 12,003 21.3  0.8
Conservative Sarah Bool 9,422 16.7  1.9
Green Jacqueline Bond 2,516 4.5  2.4
Brexit Party Andrew McGuinness 641 1.1 N/A
Independent Salah Faissal 136 0.2 N/A
Majority 19,612 34.8  1.9
Turnout 56,333 63.5  3.6
Registered electors 88,659
Labour hold Swing  1.0

2016 London Assembly electionEdit

2016 London Assembly election: Lambeth and Southwark[24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Florence Eshalomi 96,946 51.6 -1.2
Conservative Robert Flint 34,703 18.5 -0.9
Liberal Democrats Michael Bukola 21,489 11.4 -0.3
UKIP Idham Ramadi 6,591 3.5 +0.7
Socialist (GB) Kevin Parkin 1,333 0.7 -1.2
All People's Party Amadu Kanumansa 906 0.5 N/A
Majority 62,242 33.1 -0.3
Total formal votes 187,761 98.8 +0.3
Informal votes 2,229 1.2 +0.3
Turnout 189,990 44 +6.7

2014 Lambeth London Borough Council electionEdit

2014 Lambeth London Borough Council election: Brixton Hill (3 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Adrian Garden 1,849
Labour Florence Eshalomi * 1,791
Labour Martin Tiedemann 1,560
Green Roger Baker 818
Green Andrew Child 768
Green Betty Mehari 719
Conservative James Calder 415
Conservative Charles Tankard 381
Conservative Michael Woolley 310
UKIP Paul Gregory 254
Liberal Democrats Chris Keating 244
Liberal Democrats Liz Maffei 231
Liberal Democrats Adam Pritchard 228
TUSC Lisa Bainbridge 132
TUSC Alex Richardson 83
TUSC Jessica Walters 74
Total votes 9,857
Labour hold Swing
Labour hold Swing
Labour hold Swing

2010 Lambeth London Borough Council electionEdit

2010 Lambeth London Borough Council election: Brixton Hill (3 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Alexander Holland 2,805
Labour Steve Reed * 2,699
Labour Florence Nosegbe * 2,648
Liberal Democrats Kate Horstead 2,100
Liberal Democrats Krystal Johnson 1,873
Liberal Democrats John Mead 1,560
Green Thomas Law 1,108
Green Elkin Atwell 1,023
Conservative Timothy Briggs 873
Green Phillipa Marlowe-Hunt 850
Conservative Victoria Edwards * 768
Conservative Diana Thompson 688
Total votes 18,995
Labour hold Swing
Labour hold Swing
Labour hold Swing

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://members.parliament.uk/member/4870/contact
  2. ^ a b "Florence Dauta ESHALOMI - Personal Appointments". Companies House. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  3. ^ https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/sites/default/files/ec-gla-2016-notice-of-election-agents-lambeth-and-southwark-constituency-1-4-16.pdf
  4. ^ "Florence Eshalomi". London Assembly Website. Greater London Authority. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Councillor Florence Eshalomi". Lambeth Website. Lambeth Council. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  6. ^ https://www.themj.co.uk/40-under-40--Revisited/211820
  7. ^ "Four Communications account manager wins London Assembly seat". PRWeek magazine. 11 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Register of interests for Councillor Florence Eshalomi | Lambeth Council". 22 July 2019. Archived from the original on 22 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  9. ^ Fisher, Lucy (18 March 2016). "Momentum activists will picket Labour candidate". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  10. ^ "'Momentum' Will Picket This Woman's Fundraiser But Labour MPs Are Having None Of It". HuffPost UK. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  11. ^ "100 Labour Councillors Back Liz Kendall For Leader". HuffPost UK. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  12. ^ Cobb, Jason (6 May 2016). "Brixton Hill Cllr Florence Eshalomi elected to represent Lambeth and Southwark in the London Assembly". Brixton Buzz. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  13. ^ "London Assembly – Membership of Committees/Bodies and Terms of Reference 2019/20 | London Assembly" (PDF). london.gov.uk. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Florence Eshalomi: We must not forget the girls involved with London's gangs | OnLondon". onlondon.co.uk. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  15. ^ "The Future of Kennington Police Station". LambethLife. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Oasis charity keen to buy Kennington Police Station". London SE1. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  17. ^ Rodgers, Sienna (27 October 2019). "Super Sunday: Labour candidate selection results". LabourList. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  18. ^ Williams, Zoe (28 October 2019). "How to replace Kate Hoey? My local party showed that stitch-ups aren't working". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  19. ^ "Vauxhall MP Florence Eshalomi makes maiden speech in Commons". London SE1. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Florence Eshalomi: Black MP mistaken for colleagues condemns racism". BBC News. 5 June 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  21. ^ Morrison-Sloan, Megan. "About Me". Florence Eshalomi for Lambeth & Southwark. Labour Party. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  22. ^ "5 Interesting Facts About Florence Eshalomi – The Nigerian Woman Who Wants To Join The London Assemby". woman.NG. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  23. ^ "Statement of Persons Nominated" (PDF).
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 May 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Kate Hoey
Member of Parliament for Vauxhall
2019–present
Incumbent